Osinbajo seeks $715b impact investment to address poverty, others
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, insisted that Nigeria must tap into impact investment to address social and environmental challenges.
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) estimated that over 1,720 organisations managed $715 billion in impact investment at the end of 2019.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had revealed that four of 10 Nigerians live in extreme poverty, live below $2 daily, as the country leads the world poverty capital.
Sadly, the amount of money that the richest Nigerian man can earn yearly from his wealth is sufficient to lift two million people out of poverty.
Speaking virtually as keynote speaker at the fourth Impact Investors’ Foundation Annual Convening on Impact Investing, the Vice President noted that widening inequalities and other growing challenges, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 made investments more critical.
“Glaring inequalities of wealth and opportunity in the face of poverty, misery and social alienation in any society is asking for trouble. Such a situation is neither sustainable nor wise.
“The sharp drop in standards of living caused by COVID-19-induced shocks to the economy has not only further deepened existing inequalities, but pushed many more into extreme poverty,” Osinbajo said.
He insisted that neither governments nor businesses could afford to ignore the huge social disparities and environmental deterioration for long, adding that impact investment remains an eminently sound approach to balancing inequities by catalysing social and environmental impacts for long-term structural change.
According to him, while profit, sound social and environmental benefits could co-exist, the logic of the profit motive, as being the driver of innovation, wealth creation and growth, is unassailable.
Osinbajo, in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said while impact investment is feasible, there was a long way to go from the relatively random extant regime.